Just Reinvest NSW is focused on developing a justice reinvestment policy that will work here in Australia. For that, we need a clear roadmap. Looking to the experience overseas, what we are learning is that a collective impact framework provides that roadmap.
Collective impact is the commitment of a group of actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a complex social problem.
The underlying premise of collective impact is that alone, no single individual or organisation can create large-scale, lasting social change. “Silver bullet” solutions to systemic social problems do not exist; they cannot be solved by simply scaling or replicating one organisation or program. Strong organisations are necessary but not sufficient for large-scale social change.
Collective impact has five elements: a common agenda, shared measurement, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication and a backbone of support.
Collective impact initiatives are currently being employed to address a wide variety of issues around the world, including education, healthcare, homelessness, the environment, and community development. Many of these initiatives are already showing concrete results, reinforcing the promise of collective impact in solving complex social problems.
What would justice reinvestment with a collective impact framework look like?
Key elements of justice reinvestment include the need for it to be place-based, data-driven, supported by a centralised strategic body, and with fiscally sound and targeted measures.
Collective impact offers a more detailed roadmap and will be critical in developing what we call ‘the Australianisation of justice reinvestment’.
Using this roadmap, cost savings will be realised both through the diversion of resources from Corrective Services and Juvenile Justice, and through the realignment of existing programs and services to reduce duplication and increase efficiency.
These cost savings will then kickstart the justice reinvestment approach.
The resulting savings to the Corrective Services and Juvenile Justice budgets will be the basis of its continuation.
Image by Mitch Blunt gratefully sourced from http://bit.ly/1QZdSo0